And then the world came to a halt.
2020 was a year like no other. When the Covid-19 pandemic hit, a wave of pervasive uncertainty took over and caused disruption across the world.
At the height of the pandemic, businesses were forced to reassess and shift priorities quickly. Some flourished. Some suffered. Thousands of small businesses had to shut their doors permanently. Many more lost revenue simply because face-to-face sales interaction was no longer an option.
Consistent communication is key to success. But always remember to focus on selling solutions, not products.
It’s safe to say that the pandemic has changed the way consumers seek information, communicate with brands and purchase products. Ultimately, businesses needed to recalibrate and embrace the digital marketplace to stay afloat.
As we enter a post-pandemic future and adjust to a “new normal”, businesses have an opportunity to respond to challenges and find new ways to connect with customers, create trust and build brand loyalty.
Below are five strategies to kickstart your digital presence and thrive in a post-pandemic marketplace:
1. Embrace the Power of Human Connection
It’s no secret: human connection lies at the heart of physical, mental and emotional well-being. If the pandemic has taught businesses anything, it’s that human interaction and staying connected is necessary, and that it’s crucial to build relationships with customers founded on trust.
When building your digital presence, make it easy for your customers to connect with your brand and with others. Leverage the power of social media here. For example, if you own an online plant shop, you can set up livestream Q&As, launch a community page, or use Instagram stories to ask questions and invite your followers to answer.
Consistent communication is key to success. But always remember to focus on selling solutions, not products. Listen to what your customers need and then create solutions for them. This is the first step to building an authentic connection and creating long-term trust.
2. Know Your Customer Segment
Utilising customer segmentation is vital to succeeding in today’s digital marketplace. To optimise your digital marketing efforts and deliver an exceptional experience, you must target specific consumers based on who they are and what their needs are.
Several factors can be used to segment customers, but the most common include age, gender, location and buying behaviour.
Your digital marketing efforts and messages need to be personally relevant and aligned to a target customer’s circumstances and values. If you create genuine human connections with your prospects, they will be more likely to engage with your brand and stick around for more.
3. Deliver Hyper-Personalised Experiences
Our reliance on technology skyrocketed overnight as we started working, learning and socialising remotely. The digital surge has also transformed the way people shop. And, naturally, these changes have raised consumer expectations in terms of what brands could provide with digital experiences.
Businesses are suddenly faced with the challenge of engaging customers who are seeking more authentic, connected and immersive digital interactions. What’s more, customers now expect anticipatory, personalised digital experiences across the entire customer journey, not just at the beginning or at the end.
Make sure that your digital efforts are meeting customers’ rising expectations with frictionless digital experiences that are relevant to them. Leverage digital tools to help you achieve this. Use real-time analytics, build the right data foundation, and align goals across the customer journey.
4. Stand Behind Great Values
Consumers are becoming more environmentally and socially conscious. It goes without saying that quality, convenience and price play a huge part in consumer choice. But sustainability, ethical sourcing, social responsibility and trust are increasingly becoming important to how consumers select products and services.
Standing behind a great brand just won’t cut it. You need to stand behind having great values. But do so with the right intentions.
5. Leverage the Latest Digital Tools
Ever-evolving digital transformation and technologies hold the promise of bringing significant positive changes to your business. But you need the right tools to crack open a whole new world of opportunity and catalyse change for sustained results.
Plunge into social media and start building authentic connections with your customers. Leverage segmentation tools and real-time data analytics to get to know your customers better. Implement content marketing and targeted pay-per-click campaigns to deliver more relevant, hyper-personalised digital experiences.
That’s just the tip of the iceberg. There are so many digital tools available to help kickstart and accelerate your digital marketing efforts today.